Guest: Dr. Mary Bourke
Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest Bio: Dr. Mary Bourke Graduated from Phillip Institute of Technology (Melb) in 1992, having completed the 5 year full time Bachelor of Applied Science(Chiropractic) Degree. Mary has been working with children in her practice for the last 20 years and it has been through her own children that the most invaluable insights into this work have come.
Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, Dr. Mary Bourke of MYO Australia talks about the Myo Munchie and explains the importance of having strong chewing muscles as children grow older. Children’s habits such as mouth breathing or poor chewing habits may result to weak muscle tone in the facial muscles but this can be prevented.
Health Professional Radio
Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and today my guest is Dr. Mary Bourke. Mary is here to talk to us about a product called MYO Munchie. Now I have to admit this is one of those business names where you read the name and you think “What on earth could that possibly be?” Mary welcome to Health Professional radio, do tell us what is an MYO Munchie?
Dr. Mary Bourke: An MYO Munchee, well we call it the “Myo munchie.”
W: A Myo munchie, alright.
B: Yeah. It’s the Myomunchee. Myo is basically muscle. So it’s the muscle munchee so it’s what you chew to exercise your jaw muscle.
W: Okay, now as someone who is maybe not the trimmest of figures, chewing is one those things that I have never had difficulty doing. So tell us why create a product?
B: Well what’s happening Wayne is that in modern society the food that we’re chewing has a very little resistance, most food really well balance diet is really quite processed, so there’s not a lot of opportunity to really exercise and stress the muscles and the jaw bones. In most of all of the primitive culture they would have a lot more exercise and work going on for their jaws. So they have to work a lot harder for their food than we do.
W: So what’s the consequence of not having strong chewing muscles?
B: Okay. So what’s happening is that we’re finding developmentally children’s jaws aren’t developing now as much a strongly and it’s broadly so the teeth don’t fit anymore. So what we’re finding is a lot of children have teeth removed and braces put on to make the teeth fit into the jaws. And this is fairly consequential to the fact that there’s been all this change. There was a dentist in the 1940’s Weston Price his name it was and he went out into all the primitive cultures around the world because he was very interested in what was happening with the jaws in westernized cultures. And what he found was in a primitive culture that they have this beautiful well developed oral arches and teeth. We’re very well worked into bone unlike the same people who are brought in to the western cities and cultures they have the same problems, we had once they’ve used our diet.
W: I see, that’s intriguing. So is this a way of avoiding subsequent orthodontic work? Is that the point?
B: Well it’s a way of optimizing your genetic potential for what’s happening. So with your jaw, there are a lot of people will have a genetic predisposition because they’ve thought to be going onto a number of generations now. So what we find is the children who chew the Myo munchie from the young age, they can chew it from the age of 2 years. If they chew it from the young age and have also look at good nutritional support as well because that’s also important, they will be much more likely to produce their best genetic potential for their jaw could be, whereas for children who don’t get that opportunity and who only have stuffed food and don’t really have a good nutrition they’re much more likely to have narrow undeveloped arches and need orthodontic work. So it’s not say you can, but don’t go and see cause the benefit is actually really good opportunity to optimize what your genetic potential is.
W: Now this is one of those moments where it will be good if we’re on television not on radio. Draw me a word picture, what does this device look like?
B: It actually looks like a mouth guard. So it’s shaped like a mouth guard and it has, but it’s softer and it’s chewable but it’s quite a firm, it’s silicon that it has a lot of resistance to it. And it has a “little prong” on it. And the little prong when you chew that massages the gums and the teeth and while you’re chewing and that’s actually also really beneficial too because what it’s doing is massaging the gum which is helping to oxygenating and keep them healthy and strong and it’s also cleaning the teeth. So it’s really fantastic with little children. It’s actually is much more effective for children at the aged of 3, for example chewing the Myo for a couple of minutes is much more effective than cleaning their teeth with the brushing. So it has that this little rubber prongs that are very useful as well.
W: Okay and I noticed on your website you talk about nose breathing…
W: Now as a chronic snorer as anyone who’s ever been in my bedroom would tell you that snoring is a major issue. So it’s one of the things that interest me. So does this encourage nose breathing?
B: Yeah. There’s a number of reasons how it helps with that. We’re all programed to be nose breathers, that’s actually the way we’re programed perhaps to get air into our lungs. We only develop mouth breathing as a by-product of certain conditions that drive us into it. So with children that’s one of the things that’s really helpful which the Myo – it helps program them for that nose breathing, if they have become mouth breather, brcause you can’t breathe through your mouth the Myo munchie in your mouth, so that’s part of it. With adults and with snoring it’s very helpful because once again if you got a Myo in your mouth at night, it’s very difficult to breath over the top of it. And the other thing is that when you’re using the Myo and if you chew it, it helps to strengthen the facial muscles and that’s part of what’s happening to when we snore or when we’re mouth breathing at night – is our jaw are dropping open this is what happens more if you get older because all of our muscles get a bit sloweer and that is part of it, that the jaw drops open because there is poor oral function. So the Myo helps with all strengthening of all the oral muscular jaw. So it’s very helpful for a number of features, so people wear it at night to sleeping and it helps them breathe through the nose because once again they can’t fall onto that old pattern of dropping the jaw open and just getting air in because the Myo’s there. But it also brings the bottom jaw forward slightly which automatically opens the airways and that’s the other thing that happens at night when you’re lying on your back. For example your bottom jaw drops back down and then that closes off the airways so the Myo pulls the bottom jaw up and forward.
W: Intriguing. Now I have to confess I’m not a clinician or a researcher at all. But I do have a lifelong personal study that says snoring and is a direct result of red wine. That’s just my observation.
W: Leave that alone for a moment. Mary, how do people get in touch with you?
B: Well at the moment it’s mainly through the website. We do have an email address there and they can go on and find out about the product, there’s a lot of information on there. My father actually invented the product, he is now 90 years old. And he has put many years of his own research on there and information that there has been new dentists, there’s been many other people who are speech therapists and chiropractors and many other professionals who have used this product in different ways. So the best way to get in touch with us as a lay person who with interested in utilizing it, is just through the website. And if there’s a practitioner who’s interested for patients, once again get in touch with us and we also have practitioner products that we deal with as well.
W: Okay that’s good. Mary are there any other misconceptions around your product that drive you nuts and keeps you awake at night?
B: I guess it’s only that we can fix anything, we can’t. There’s no guarantee with anything that we can fix a child’s bite or that we can prevent them needing braces, that’s were gets a little bit tricky, it just about optimization in each child and each case is different. So it is one of those kinds that we wouldn’t want to make any claims that we can. Yeah you know that you’re goanna get the perfect smile from using a Myo.
W: Okay. So the take away message I guess is that it’s not a perfect solution to everything but that it does optimize what people are born with.
B: Well it is the great. It’s not similar to doing exercise of any description, it’s actually great for everybody to do exercise, we all agree with that we’re much too sedentary, generally in our the modern lifestyle. So it’s just say another add onto that exact idea, so it’s basically walking thru your mouth… We’re way too sedentary in our oral habits as well so it’s an opportunity to just get a little bit of exercise each day with actively choosing to do that because it only takes if you chewed it in the shower for 5 minutes a day, you’d get noticeable benefits.
W: Remarkable. Thank you for joining us on Health Professional Radio today.
B: Thank you for having me Wayne.
W: You’re welcome. We’ll put a transcript of this story on our website at www.hpr.fm and there’s also a SoundCloud archive and a YouTube archive if you’d like to hear the interview again. We didn’t mention the website is at myoaustralia.com, www.myoaustralia.com and that’s the best way you can get in touch with Dr. Mary Bourke and the Myo munchie. My Name is Wayne Bucklar, this is Health Professional Radio.